In a comment for N1 TV, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that one of Zaev’s top confidants, businessman Zoran Basanovic, “now owns half of Macedonia and Greece” and “works to bring me down”.

Basanovic was once close to Vucic, operating as a music manager and later a media mogul. He supported Zaev’s Colored Revolution with his news outlets in Serbia, and once Zaev grabbed power in 2017, Basanovic quickly followed here and was named his adviser.

Vucic openly accused Basanovic of being linked with Serbian opposition leader Dragan Gjilas in an attempt to destabilize the Government.

They’re going after me with all their might. They own half of Greece and Macedonia, so to say, Vucic told N1.

Zaev is also close to Gjilas and has made comments criticizing Vucic as a corrupt nationalist, and has implied that Vucic could face a protest movement similar to the Colored Revolution which brought Zaev to power in Macedonia. Basanovic currently runs Nasa TV in Serbia, and is profiling it as a strongly critical outlet against Vucic.

During the Racket trial, it was reported that he may have been the recipient of the 1.5 million EUR that were extorted by a group close to Zaev. Serbian news site Kurir reported that he was the middle-man, and during the end of the trial the key persons involved in the extortion pointed to Zaev as the ultimate recipient of the money.

A subsequent trial linked to the Racket scandal showed that Basanovic intervened with Zaev to have one of the defendants released from prison.